Friday, June 1, 1894 My wife Carlie’s health is very poor. She is suffering terribly, and has now, in addition to her throat trouble, inflammatory rheumatism.
The First Presidency were busy with various matters all day.
President Jos. F. Smith went to Logan in the afternoon.
At 5 o’clock I met with the family and relatives of President Brigham Young at the Lion House, it being the anniversary of his birth. The temple was iluminated in honor of the day.
Saturday, June 2, 1894 Had a very plain and pointed conversation with my son Abraham concerning our business affairs, and afterwards with Hugh and Frank, about our situation. I have endorsed notes for Frank, and I am under the necessity of letting him have $1764 to meet one of the notes which I have endorsed and to save his mother’s stock in Z.C.M.I., which is pledged as security.
Sunday, June 3, 1894 My wife Carlie was in such a condition of health that I thought I would devote today to waiting upon her[.] I remained in her bedroom all day, administering to her from time to time, and doing what I could to alleviate her distress. She suffers very severely from inflammatory rheumatism.
Monday, June 4, 1894 Elder John Henry Smith called in the office this morning and reported the result of his trip to El Paso connected with the Mexican Colonization Co.
Tuesday, June 5, 1894. My brother Angus and his counselors called to see us respecting the normal school connected with the Latter-day Saints College in this Stake. Brothers Cluff, Brimhall and Hardy, of the B. Y. Academy, were also present. The First Presidency afterwards had a visit from Presidents L. W[.] Shurtliff, C. F. Middleton and Joseph Stanford, of the Board of Education of the Weber Stake. They represented to us the condition of affairs in connection with their Academy at Ogden. They are heavily in debt, and after listening to what they said, Brother Jos. F. Smith moved that we allow them twenty per cent of the tithing for this year, to be paid to them in kind, to help them meet some of their obligations.
I had conversation with Presidents Woodruff and Smith respecting our enterprises and the proper apportionment of the stock.
Wednesday, June 6, 1894 Brother W. W. Cluff was in to see us respecting our coal properties, and considerable time was spent by the First Presidency with him and Brothers Clayton and Jack.
At 1 o’clock meeting of the Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. was held, and re-elected the old officers. The stockholders met last Monday and elected the old Board, with the exception of L. G. Hardy, in whose place Brother L. John Nuttall was elected.
At 3 o’clock I accompanied Brother C. H. Wilcken to my farm Westover. I was pleased with its appearance.
Thursday, June 7, 1894 The First Presidency had an interview with Brother Orson Smith this morning in relation to the business that he had in hand.
I bought 500 shares of Bullion, Beck & Champion Co. stock this morning at the State Bank, for which I gave a draft for $5000 on Wells, Fargo & Co. This stock belonged to Bishop Wm. B. Preston. My reason for buying it is, they have been offering it for sale through the newspapers. A communication appeared yesterday in the Herald, signed by B.B.&C. shareholders, which was written by Brother Moses Thatcher, and which reflected severely on Brother Farnsworth and the management of the Bullion Beck property. It was surprising that the Herald should publish such a communication, and it is evident that they would not have published it if it had not been from the pen of some prominent and influential man. I had been told that two or three parties had applied at the State Bank, but had not been able to obtain any of the stock, and this prompted me to go down myself. At first I was told they had none for sale; but when I read the advertisement, 500 shares were produced belonging to Bishop Preston, which I purchased. I am sorry to see the feeling that was manifested in the communication of yesterday. It looks as though Brothers Thatcher and Preston were determined to depreciate the value of this stock in the eyes of the public, and I felt that this was wrong. Mr. Dooley, of Wells, Fargo, said he would honor my draft for that amount.
The First Presidency and Twelve met in the Temple at 2 o’clock[.] We had singing and prayer, Brother John Henry Smith being mouth and I praying in the circle. President Woodruff and Brother F. D. Richards were not able to clothe, being unwell.
At 5 o’clock I went to Brother Francis Armstrong’s, an appointment having been made at that hour for the First Presidency and their families and a large number of friends to dine with Brother Armstrong and his family, and afterwards to dedicate the house. I had expected some of my wives to be present; but a very severe storm came on and they did not come. I was called upon to dedicate the house. President Woodruff made some remarks. I followed, and President Smith followed me. We had a very interesting time. I left for home a little before nine.
We had a drenching rain tonight.
Friday, June 8, 1894 The wife of Brother R. M. Stevens, who has been presiding at Samoa, telegraphed from San Francisco to Brother Geo. E. Browning, of Ogden, who telegraphed to us, that she was in San Francisco, having returned from Samoa, her husband having died there. She did not state whether she had the body with her or not, but we afterwards learned that she did not have it. This sad news was quite a shock to us, as we had heard that he was convalescent from an attack of typhoid fever.
A Rev. Mr. Argo brought a letter of introduction to the First Presidency from Bishop Brown, of Evanston. He is quite an interesting young man. He spoke highly of Bishop Brown and of the Latter-day Saints whom he had met.
I had a call from Mr. Clem Studebaker and his brother, who had been on the Pacific visiting. Mr. Clem Studebaker is an old acquaintance of ours and is the head of the Studebaker Bros. Carriage builders.
When I got home this afternoon I found my wife Carlie still very sick, as she has been all this week, and I have administered frequently to her. She spoke almost despondently this evening and said that death would be a rest for her. I felt that she was letting go almost in her feelings, and I said to her that we could not spare her. Oh, she said, the resurrection would not be long. I administered to her with my sons afterwards, and we each pronounced a blessing upon her. Abraham did the anointing, and I made the closing blessing. I felt to speak to her with great plainness, and to say to her that it was the Lord’s will for her to live if she would have faith and would strive to live; that it was not His will that she should die; but I said it was an easy thing for a person to die when they let go their faith and their desire for life.
Saturday, June 9, 1894 When I reached the office today I found Brother Merrill there, who had called to see me in relation to disposing of his Bullion-Beck stock. I explained the situation of affairs to him, giving him a rehearsal of matters from the time when President Taylor and myself took hold of that property up to the present, without entering into too many details, at which he expressed his gratification and said he intended to stand by me and those associated with me.
I dictated my journal.
Sunday, June 10, 1894. I remained at home all day for the purpose of administering to my wife Carlie and doing what I could to comfort her in her affliction. I sent for my son Abraham and all my boys who held the Priesthood, and we administered to her, each one pronouncing a blessing upon her. I saw a visible improvement take place immediately.
We had a call from my wife Emily and sister-in-law, Adelia Hoagland, and the wife of my nephew, John West, who lives at Pocatello.
Monday, June 11, 1894 Found President Woodruff at the office.
My son Frank had brought to our attention two or three years ago the needs of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. for money to carry out the work laid out by Mr. Purbeck, and a meeting was called this morning consisting of Presidents Woodruff and Smith, Bishop Winder, Frank and myself. The amount necessary to carry on the various branches of business is estimated at $7236. $2000 of this will be needed in each of the months of June, July and August, and the balance in September. The question arose as to how this money should be raised. This brought out considerable conversation respecting the other parties in the Company—Messrs. Kiesel, Patton, Bannister and my son Frank. It was stated that when we entered upon this work it was expected that we would raise $10,000, and that this would carry the work forward sufficiently to put it in a position to bring us relief financially, and that now this amount having been expended, and $7236 more being asked for, the others of the Company should share in bearing this burden. But Frank stated that the proposition had been made by Mr. Banister [Bannister] and himself to carry the work through for $5000 until somebody should be found who would do the financing. He said when he returned from the States and made a report, the work had only cost $5100. The remainder of the $10,000 had been spent in bringing the financial agent out here and the engineers and in other work connected therewith; so that as Mr. Bannister and he had proposed, they had succeeded in doing. In reply to the statement about Mr. Bannister and Frank, I said it was they who had given us our stock, and it had been given with the understanding that we should carry the matter along, and that Messrs. Patton and Kiesel had been given stock, as Frank explained, out of Mr. Bannister’s and his stock, for work which they were expected to do, and which they had done and were still doing. President Smith said that he had carried this thing as far as he could go, and unless there was some backing he did not propose to go any further, nor put his name to any more paper. He did not want to be ruined. He said, now we have advanced $10,000; we shall be called upon now for seven or eight thousand more, and perhaps we will have other calls, and he did not propose to go any further in this matter unless he had backing. He spoke very emphatically on this, and made many remarks in this strain.
After he had got through, Bishop Winder commenced to tell his feelings, and said that he did not have confidence. He had prayed a good deal to the Lord to get light upon this matter and concerning Mr. Purbeck, but he could not, and he could not feel confidence in him, for he had failed to obtain anything from the Lord to give him confidence in Mr. Purbeck or in his ability to do what he said. He said what he did in this matter was on the strength of the First Presidency’s feelings.
There was a good deal said backward and forward. I held my peace. I felt very badly.
President Woodruff said that he was willing to put all the property he had in it. He did have confidence in this and thought we ought to do it, as it was for the good of the people. He had prayed to the Lord that He would raise up some man to come to our help, and it seemed as though Mr. Purbeck was the man. He made the latter part of these remarks after I had made my talk.
I said that I wanted it clearly understood right now that I did not assume to be the sponsor for Mr. Purbeck, nor to carry him. I said Bishop Winder had just as much right to know the mind of the Lord in these matters as I had, and to know whether the thing is right or not. I had stated that I had confidence in this; but I did not want, because I had confidence, anyone else to go into this business, then afterwards say, “Well, I told you that it would be a failure.” I said that way of doing business is something that I do not believe in. Brother Winder said he thought it was right that we should rely on the First Presidency. I said, but one of the First Presidency himself has expressed himself about Mr. Purbeck the same as you have done. In this I referred to a remark that President Smith made. I said, I do not think it right for one of us, or two of us, to bear this responsibility. You have had opportunities of seeing Mr. Purbeck and of knowing what his plans are, and if you did not have confidence in him it was your duty to explain your feelings, and not go this far and then stop. I talked with a good deal of feeling and plainness. I said it was an easy thing for a man to find fault and make objections, and like Israel of old, say the Red Sea is in front and the armies of the Egyptians are behind—where shall we go? To me any such feeling brings darkness and doubt. I have all I can do to carry my own load, without attempting to carry other people’s. I felt that in the remarks that were made it was plain that if there should be a failure somebody would be made the scapegoat, and I said to the brethren that I did not want to be the scapegoat. I said I did not propose to stand responsible for Mr. Purbeck. My own brethren have in some instances disappointed me, and I have had my trust almost betrayed in some instances, and I certainly did not want to be responsible for a Gentile. President Smith spoke very kindly afterwards, saying that he knew that I had carried a big load, and that I had a good deal of faith, and he admired the spirit I had manifested.
I said that I did not believe ruin would come upon any of us in doing these things.
Brother Winder also expressed himself as regretting what had been said by him, and the result was that we agreed to raise $7300. Brother Winder would raise the first $2000. He would give his note, and we would give him a joint note for it. I think it was a good thing that this conversation took place, as it enabled each of us to know where we stood.
This morning, Sister Stevens, the widow of Elder R. M. Stevens who recently died in Samoa, called upon us, accompanied by her father and several other brethren. Sister Stevens seemed to be overwhelmed with grief, and we felt deep sympathy for her. Elder Stevens is said to have mastered the language better than any Elder that had been on Samoa for the length of time he was there, and appears to have been a very promising young man. Such cases produce very peculiar feelings of sadness in me. Under the present laws we are in a bad condition for doing that which ought to be done in a case like this. This young woman has been sealed to her husband for eternity. Who now will marry her? If a man marries her, she is another man’s wife for eternity and he is without one, and I do not know any Latter-day Saint that would want to make the sacrifice that such an alliance would require; so that the prospect before her as to remain in widowhood or marry a Gentile. If it were not for the stringency of the laws, one of her husband’s brothers might take her to wife and raise children to his deceased brother.
In company with my son Frank and Brother Winter, arranged a letter for Messrs. Purbeck & Co. I also wrote a private letter to him.
Tuesday, June 12, 1894 I received a letter from Mr. Purbeck, informing me of his arrival home.
We had a number of visitors today; nothing, however, of special importance.
Wednesday, June 13, 1894 I spent the day at the office. busy with various matters.
At 4 o’clock Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself went to Bishop S. A. Woolley’s residence in the 9th Ward, being invited there with quite a company of saints to dedicate his house. Brother Jos. F. Smith was mouth in offering the prayer; after which we partook of a very excellent meal, and when the company gathered together after eating, President Woodruff called upon me to make some remarks, which I did, followed by President Smith and himself. My wife Martha was there.
Thursday, June 14, 1894 At my request, Bishop John R. Winder sent Sisters Bathsheba Smith, Emma Woodruff, Lucy Walker Kimball Smith and Sister Winder down to my house for the purpose of washing and anointing my wife Carlie. They felt well in doing so, and she experienced great relief from their administration.
I found at the office when I arrived this morning a man by the name of L. D. Hickey, who is a Strangite, having left the Church and followed Strang in the early days, and was near by when Strang was killed. He had told President Woodruff before I got
on in that he had a translation of the plates which Joseph found sealed, and which he was forbidden to translate. This translation had been made by Strang, as I understand. I did not converse much with him, except to find where he joined the Church. The first Mormon he ever saw was my father-in-law, Bishop Abraham Hoagland, of whom he spoke in the highest terms. He wanted to lay his message before us, and I suggested, in reply to President Woodruff’s question, that it might be proper for Brother Lorenzo Snow to call such of the Twelve together as were within reach to listen to this man’s message; not that we have the least confidence in him or his message, but he comes professing to have something from the Lord, and I said, out of respect to our Lord, we ought to accord him the privilege of stating what he had to say. President Snow was instructed accordingly.
We had an interview with the Presidency of the Salt Lake Stake in relation to the propriety of our people patronizing the Saltair Beach, instead of going to Garfield, so that they might use their influence to induce Sunday schools and the people generally to patronize that place of resort.
A young man by the name of Stookey came to see us in relation to his situation. He had become engaged to a young lady by the name of Bush, and his mother (his father being dead) and his older brother disapproved very much of the engagement, for the reason that this young lady’s father committed suicide, and her grandfather was demented, and they feared there was insanity in the family. The father of the young lady was also a rather disreputable character. Her mother is a daughter of the late Bishop David Evans, of Lehi. He wanted counsel as to what he should do, whether he should marry the girl or break the engagement. He seemed like a very promising young man; and after considerable conversation, President Jos. F. Smith suggested that he go to Brother Lyman, who knew the young woman, and let him decide as to the course he should take. To this I replied, addressing Brother Stookey: It is too great a responsibility for anyone to take, unless the Lord reveals something to him. To say to you that you must not marry this girl, or to say to you that you must marry the girl, involves a very serious responsibility, because to marry her might entail on you a posterity that would be defective and unsound, and to say not to marry her might entail on the girl very serious consequences, and also upon her sisters. It is a case of your own, and you should seek to the Lord yourself.
President Woodruff suggested also that he should seek to the Lord and learn for himself.
I told him that if the proposition had been submitted to us before he had become engaged, we should have said to him undoubtedly, do not marry into a family where there is danger of unsoundness of this kind. You come of a healthy strong parentage, and it would be unwise to incur risk of that kind.
At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and President Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon met in the Temple. Brother Richards opened by prayer, and Brother H. J. Grant was mouth in the circle.
At 4 o’clock we met with Col. King, and my son Hugh accompanied him. Hugh read notes which Col. King had dictated of their trip to Deseret and their examination for sites for reservoirs there on the land that a number of us own. Col. King is a very acute observer and a skilful engineer.
Friday, June 15, 1894 There was a meeting of the Co-op. Wagon & Machine Co. this morning, and at 12 o’clock a meeting of Z.C.M.I., and at 3:30 a meeting of the Sugar Co.
Sisters Bathsheba Smith, Lucy Walker Smith and Mary Freeze had gone down, at my request, to wash and anoint my wife again, and I found her feeling much better this evening.
Saturday, June 16, 1894 My wife Carlie spent the best night last night that she has had almost since the commencement of her sickness.
Lewis and Willard are busy arranging the drain of her house. I find the boys very skilful at this kind of work. They seem to be natural mechanics.
Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
I was greatly pleased on my return home to find my wife Carlie still improving.
My son Espey Telle Cannon is eight years old today, and he has awaited with great anticipation this birthday, for he desired very much to be baptized. I took him down to the river, and in the presence of a large number of my family I baptized him, and then seating him at the water’s edge, I was mouth in confirming him. Brother Wilcken, my son Lewis and my two sons-in-law, Lewis M. Cannon and Harry Chamberlain, laid hands on with me.
Sunday, June 17, 1894. I attended meeting at the Tabernacle at 2 p.m. President Woodruff was there. I was spoken to about addressing the congregation, but did not have the spirit of it, and suggested to my brother Angus that he should call some of the Elders. He called Brother Josiah Burrows, and he delivered a very excellent discourse, though brief, upon the Holy Spirit. In his remarks he conveyed the idea to the people that the Apostles did not have hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost till after the resurrection. He quoted the last verse or two of the 24th chap. of Luke in favor of this. His remarks were very interesting and he showed a familiarity with the scriptures that was very pleasing. I requested the privilege of following him, and in the course of my remarks stated that while there was nothing written upon the subject there could be no doubt, the Apostles having been ordained by the Savior and endowed with great power, that they had received also the imposition of hands confirming them members of Christ’s Church and giving unto them the promise of the Holy Ghost.
Monday, June 18, 1894 I heard that my brother-in-law, Peter Hansen, was quite sick, and at the request of my wife Sarah Jane I called and administered to him.
A crippled daughter of Franklin Young called with her Aunt, Lulu Richards, to get counsel from me.
I was visited also by a divorced wife of Brother Henson Walker[.]
Presidents Woodruff and Smith were both absent from the office this morning, but President Woodruff came in after awhile, and we listened to a report of the visit of Brothers John Henry Smith and Heber J. Grant to Honeyville to endeavor to reconcile the people there and to get a better feeling among them. According to their statement, that ward is in a very peculiar condition.
A young man and his father came up from Spring City to see me in relation to a crime that the young man had committed about 18 years ago. It was an abominable sin, and it has come home to him now with such force that he is almost broken-hearted. He had not communicated it to anyone but his wife, and within a few days to his father. After listening to him and seeing the contrition which he manifested, I told him that being a boy at the time and inexperienced, I felt to say to him, as a servant of God, that his sins would be remitted, and he should trouble himself no more about them, for the Lord would forgive him. I gave him a note to my brother Angus, the President of this Stake, asking him to appoint someone to administer the ordinance of baptism and laying on of hands and to confirm upon him his priesthood and his former blessings, at which his father and himself seemed to be filled with joy.
I received a number of communications from Messrs. C. A. Purbeck & Co., and I dictated a letter to them.
Tuesday, June 19, 1894 The First Presidency attended to different items of business that came before them; but my time was principally occupied with Brother Winter in affairs connected with our projected enterprises. This involves a good deal of labor and thought, as the whole business is referred to me, and having my other business to attend to, it keeps me very busy.
Wednesday, June 20, 1894 Today was appointed for the meeting of the stockholders of the Pioneer Electric Power Co. for the purpose of submitting the proposition of enlarging the stock $250,000, to be called preferred stock. This stock is to draw 7% interest out of any profits of the company.
Mr. C. K. Bannister and his wife had invited us to be their guests. Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself went up this morning. Bishop J. R. Winder and A. H. Woodruff sent proxies, as they could not go. We were very kindly and hospitably entertained by Mr. & Mrs. Bannister, and after the stockholders meeting there was a meeting of the Board of Directors and considerable business was done.
After lunch, a carriage was furnished in which Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself, accompanied by my son Frank, rode up the canyon to the site of the Dam. Mr. Banister [Bannister] and Judge Patton rode in another carriage. On our return, Mr. Bannister took Frank’s place and rode with us, and we went to his office and examined the maps of the Dam, etc., and returned to Salt Lake City, reaching there at 8:10 p.m.
The day was most delightfully spent. I enjoyed it exceedingly. I think Ogden Canon is one of the grandest I ever was in.
Thursday, June 21, 1894 The First Presidency were at the office this morning.
Brother W. W. Cluff came in, accompanied by Brother Andrew Adamson, who had been out as an expert, examining the coal properties, and had prepared a written report, which we heard read, while Brother Cluff pointed out the various points connected with the report on a map that had been drawn out by the County Surveyor of Summit County.
At 2 o’clock we went to the Temple. There were present, beside the First Presidency, President L. Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M[.] Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. We listened to the report which the brethren made of the interview they had had with L. D. Hickey, who came bringing what he said was a translation by Strang of the brass plates that Nephi obtained from Laban. It seems that the Strangites espoused polygamy, and Mr. Hickey himself has had three wives at one time. We had considerable conversation also
with him concerning our concerning the affairs of Honeyville—and the difficulties which existed there.
Friday, June 22, 1894 My son Frank came down by appointment to see me before going East, so that I would have conversation with him concerning our different enterprises, that he might be able to talk intelligently to Mr. Purbeck when he reached New York. We also had Brother Adamson’s report read in his hearing and the map explained to him, so that he could answer any questions that Mr. Purbeck might have concerning this report.
I dictated my journal and some correspondence to Brother Winter.
At 2:40 a large party, consisting of Temple workers, each one of whom had the liberty of taking a wife or a husband, accompanied by the First Presidency, started for Brigham City. My wife Sarah Jane works in the Temple and she was of the party. It rained heavily upon us while on the way, and was still raining when we reached Brigham City. There was a large number of carriages at the depot to meet us, and we were soon transferred to these and formed a procession, with a brass band at our head, and drove through the streets of Brigham City for nearly an hour, the rain in the meantime having ceased.
I was entertained at the house of Brother Joseph M. Jensen, who had helped me on the “underground” several times, and whose family had always treated me very kindly. My wife Sarah Jane stopped at Sister Eleanor Snow’s. I did not deem it prudent for us to stop at the same place, as I did not know who there might be around spying and would make that a ground of accusation against me if there should be any revival of the old spirit of persecution. Brother Jensen’s residence is very elegantly arranged for a country town, and they live in a good deal of comfort.
In the evening there was a ball on the upper floor of the Opera House, which the company attended. President Woodruff, however, thought it better for him to retire early. The dance I enjoyed very much. We remained together till 12 o’clock.
Saturday, June 23, 1894 We started this morning in carriages to Mantua, 6 or 7 miles distant from Brigham and up the Box Elder Canon. We were welcomed by the citizens and children drawn up in line, who sang a sweet hymn greeting us. They then filled the meeting house and a bowery adjacent, and we held a meeting. Presidents Woodruff and Smith spoke, and we had some recitations and singing, and I was called upon to make the closing remarks. There was an excellent spirit prevailing, and all enjoyed themselves exceedingly.
A most substantial and excellently cooked meal was prepared for us in the schoolhouse, and after partaking of that toasts were offered and a general time of enjoyment was had; after which the children assembled in the meeting house, and they were addressed by President Woodruff, myself and President Smith. Brother Wm. C. Dunbar also gave them much delight by playing on the bagpipes and explaining the character of the music.
We returned to Brigham City, and in the evening attended the Opera House, there being a programme prepared, which passed off very well.
Sunday, June 24, 1894 The Sunday schools met in the Tabernacle at 10 o’clock. The appearance of the children was very fine, and a great many were moved to tears in seeing the little ones. They were catechized by me for some time, and Presidents Woodruff and Smith also spoke to them.
In the afternoon the First Presidency occupied the time in speaking to the people. The house was crowded.
In the evening there was a testimony meeting. Twenty of the Temple workers occupied 5 minutes each. after which President Woodruff spoke with a great deal of power. As he was closing I asked him if he would bear his testimony concerning the giving of the endowments by the Prophet Joseph. It was exceedingly interesting to me. My object in requesting President Woodruff to bear this testimony was that the people might hear from his own lips the testimony that he had to bear. He is the only man now living who received his endowments from the Prophet Joseph; and Sister Bathsheba Smith, who was with us and spoke this evening, is the only woman remaining of those who received their endowments at that time.
After President Woodruff got through I made a few remarks, calling the attention of the audience to these points and how precious was this opportunity that they had of hearing the testimony of the only living man who knew anything about this from personal knowledge.
A great many of us had heard the Prophet say that he rolled the kingdom on to the Twelve. I myself had heard him declare it publicly; but though many may have heard this, there were only these two who had shared in the giving of the endowments, and the young people should remember this and go home and write it down while it is fresh in their minds, so that they may have it to preserve for future reference, and that they can testify that they heard Wilford Woodruff bear testimony to this on the 24th day of June, 1894, at Brigham City. I said if an angel were to come, it could not be more important in that respect than President Woodruff’s testimony.
Monday, June 25, 1894 We started from Brigham City this morning at 8:30. We have been entertained very hospitably by the people and all the company feel to appreciate the kindness of the people and the pains they have taken to make our visit a pleasant one. The meetings also have been very enjoyable, and the Spirit of the Lord has been with us.
Just as we were leaving Brigham City we received word that M. Sadi Carnot, the President of the French Republic, had been assassinated by an Italian anarchist. This produced a solemn feeling in all our hearts.
On our way to Willard we stopped at Three Mile Creek, where the people and the children turned out to welcome us and to hear a few words from us. Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself stood on chairs and made a few remarks to the children.
At Willard we found the people and the children drawn up in two lines, through which we passed in our carriages. They waved their handkerchiefs, lifted their hats, and gave us a warm welcome. We proceeded to the meeting house, and President Woodruff and myself occupied considerable of the time. President Smith also spoke.
We partook of a meal which had been prepared and in excellent style.
After this I returned to the meeting house to keep an appointment with the children and commenced the proceedings before the other brethren came. Each of the First Presidency spoke. We had but little time for this meeting, as we had to be at the train by quarter to four.
This has been one of the most delightful excursions I have had, and it was highly enjoyed by all of the party.
We remained two hours at Ogden sitting in the cars, and reached Salt Lake City at 8:10. I found my wife Carlie gradually improving and the rest in the enjoyment of good health.
Tuesday, June 26, 1894 Dictated my journal and a number of letters to G. A. Purbeck & Co. concerning our affairs.
Received intelligence today of the death of Homer A. Bouton, with a request that I attend the funeral at 3 o’clock. This news is startling, as it is only a few days since that I wrote him a letter at his request, recommending him as a suitable person to be employed by anyone who wanted a man of his capacity. His death is due, I am told, to appendicitis. I knew Brother Bouton’s family in 1859. They then resided at Norwalk Conn. His father was a hatmaker. I was then presiding over the Eastern States. The family is a good one.
Wednesday, June 27, 1894 First Presidency at the office.
We had conversation with Brother N. V. Jones concerning our intentions in securing a terminal station for railroads, and instructed him to be on the lookout for land in the vicinity that we might want.
I see by the papers this morning that my son Frank spoke yesterday and delivered what the papers call an eloquent address to the Republican League Convention at Denver. He also addressed a mass meeting in the evening.
Fifty years ago today the Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum were martyred.
At 1 o’clock we had a meeting of the Board of Directors of Zion’s Saving Bank, and declared a dividend of 6% on the face value of the stock for the six months, made payable on July 1st[.]
At 3 o’clock I attended the funeral services of Brother Homer Bouton, in the 4th Ward meeting house.
Thursday, June 28. 1894. President Woodruff and myself this morning listened to a very peculiar case. Brother and Sister Merrill, formerly of Norwalk, Conn., came in and she laid her case before me, but I invited her into the office for President Woodruff to hear it also. She had a husband by the name of Reed who was an infidel, and she was a member of the Baptist church. He died, leaving her with three children; they had had four. She afterwards heard the Gospel and received it, and married this Brother Merrill. She lost her three children, and had two living daughters born to Brother Merrill. She now desired to have her sealing to Brother Merrill dissolved, so that she might be sealed to her deceased husband, for whom she entertains a very strong affection. We listened to her statements and said to her, “Do you realize the position that you are putting Brother Merrill in by such action? He has no other wife, and if you are sealed to your deceased husband, you leave Brother Merrill without a partner and without children.” She said that a young lady had been sealed to Brother Merrill, but she was deceased. After listening to all, we concluded that it would be better for her to have her wish granted. In justice, however, to Brother Merrill, we said that if he had means to provide for her she ought to be divorced from him, and let him have a wife of his own.
At 2 o’clock we went to the Temple. There were present, beside the First Presidency, President L. Snow. F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon.
Among other business was the reading of a letter from Brother C. A. Christensen, of Ephraim, concerning doctrine that had been taught by Elder F. M. Lyman at a conference in Sanpete, in which he had stated that the Holy Ghost was a personage of spirit and was the son of the Father, just as Jesus and the rest of us were, and that he was like we were before we took tabernacles. This was doctrine that Brother Christensen could not reconcile with the fact that the Holy Ghost was conferred upon the head of every man and woman that complied with the ordinance of baptism.
The reading of this letter led to considerable conversation on this question, and the words of the Lord in the Book of Doctrine & Covenants and in the Book of Mormon were referred to. Brother Christensen’s letter was addressed to me and he wanted me to answer him through the Juvenile Instructor. He is one of the most intelligent and influential Scandinavian Elders in the Church, and I felt that the question was so important that I would like to hear the views of all the Apostles, as far as possible, upon it, as it is a question that excites a good deal of interest in many minds. The conclusion appeared to be this: that as far as the doctrine taught by Brother Lyman, that the Holy Ghost was a personage of spirit, is concerned, that is correct, it being in accordance with the teachings of the Prophet Joseph; but some of us expressed ourselves to the effect that we did not think it prudent, whatever our belief might be, to say that he was the same as the rest of us, with this difference—that he did not have a tabernacle. That might be entirely correct, but there is nothing written on this subject, and it is not necessary, we felt, to teach or discuss it. At the same time, while the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, it does not follow that he himself is divided up into thousands of parts when members of the Church are promised the Holy Ghost. I remarked that we all had felt the Holy Ghost rest down upon us in power, and it had burned within us like a fire. We knew because we had been promised the Holy Ghost. There undoubtedly was, nevertheless, a distinction between the Holy Ghost and the Father and the Son, as plainly set forth in the 5th section of the Lectures on Faith. The Prophet Nephi declares that he saw him in the form of a man. I bore testimony also to the brethren that I had heard the voice of the Spirit of God as a man’s voice.
The conversation on this subject was quite interesting, and we all united in our view upon this matter, and yet confessed our inability to fully explain it.
My son John Q. and his wife dined with myself and daughters and Sylvester at their mother’s residence, and we spent a pleasant evening together.
Friday, June 29, 1894 A dispatch was received by the First Presidency from the south this morning, asking whether a suicide—a man who was demented—could be buried in his Temple clothes. We decided that it would be improper for him to be clothed in his Temple robes. I feel that we should set our faces against the crime of suicide and withhold honorable burial from everyone who resorts to this method of destruction. It should be made odious as far as possible in the eyes of the people, and I have felt stirred up at different times by seeing the disposition on the part of many people to pay respect and give honorable funerals to persons guilty of this crime.
This is the last day of the four days’ races here, and Brother Wilcken took Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself to see them. We enjoyed them.
Saturday, June 30, 1894 I came up expecting the First Presidency to hold a meeting with Brothers Orson Smith and J. E. Langford, but Brother Orson Smith did not come from the north; so we postponed the meeting.
I dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.